Cut to the Bone: The Impact of Budget Cuts on Mental Health in MississippiAugust 18th, 2010
One agencyAny department, officer, authority, public corporation, quasi-public corporation, commission, board, institution, state, university, and any other public agency created by the State, other than units of local government and school districts. (Source: MS Department of Finance and Administration) where state budget cuts may have finally cut too deep is the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. The Department of Mental Health has already undergone nearly $59 million in cuts from FY 2009 to FY 2011. The table below shows how the Department of Mental Health’s budget has changed in the last two years.
Department of Mental Health General Fund Appropriations 2009-2011
These cuts have already resulted in reduced services in many areas such as:
- Reduction of 200 beds at the state mental health hospital
- Closing of a dorm at the MS Adolescent Center in Brookhaven
- Closing of 24 supervised apartments at the Central MS Residential Center
- Closing of some early intervention programs
- Reduced grants to some non profits that provide services
Add to that the proposed closure of four primarily state-funded facilities and the future of those currently receiving services becomes bleak. In the absence of options, many patients currently served by the mental health system could become homeless or end up in the state’s corrections system.
Neither local law enforcement nor community-based mental healthcare systems are currently equipped to handle the volume of mental patients these closures may create.
Source: MEPC Analysis of data from the Enacted Budget 2010, Governor’s Office data 2009 and 2010, and the SB 3143 Conference Report